December 22, 2020 – Mediacom Communications Corporation released a statement following the West Des Moines City Council’s decision to move forward with ordering construction on a city-wide conduit network.
“We are disappointed the West Des Moines City Council failed to do what is right for local taxpayers and instead voted to move forward by ordering construction on a city-wide conduit network for the exclusive use of one internet service provider,” said Thomas Larsen, Mediacom Senior Vice President, Government and Public Relations. “This is especially true in light of the growing list of lawsuits alleging anti-competitive and exclusionary behavior by the City’s chosen business partner, Google. The residents and businesses of West Des Moines deserve a city council that conducts itself in a competitively neutral and non-discriminatory manner. Last night’s rushed vote after a two-hour closed-door executive session shows the City Council is recklessly making decisions that will cost their taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.”
On December 10, Mediacom filed a lawsuit against the City of West Des Moines and the West Des Moines City Council for the improper use of taxpayer-backed financing bonds. The bonds, which are intended to remedy urban blight and poverty are instead being used to build a $42.8 million city-wide conduit network for the exclusive use of Google Fiber.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Mediacom explained that if the City proceeds with its plans for the conduit network and Mediacom prevails in its lawsuit, then taxpayers could end up paying tens of millions of dollars unlawfully raised or spent for a conduit network that may never be completed. Mediacom therefore asked the council not to move forward with ordering construction on the city-wide conduit network until the lawsuit is resolved. The City Council ignored Mediacom’s request. The city council meeting, which started at 5:30 p.m. ended a little after 8:00 p.m. following a nearly two-hour closed to the public executive meeting on projects related to the conduit network.